This recipe for Quick Chickpea Biryani requires only 15 minutes of hands-on-time before it gently simmers on the stove top, relatively hands-free. Biryani, if unfamiliar, is an Indian rice dish that varies greatly from region to region, often made with chicken. This version is meatless, made with chickpeas. As it simmers, fragrant Indian spices infuse the house with goodness. Although the Cilantro Coconut Yogurt Sauce is optional, it’s flavorful and delicious, taking only a couple of minutes to whip up in the blender. A simple, tasty vegetarian dinner perfect for busy weeknights.
This month I partnered with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada to share how simple it is to create healthier meals, just by incorporating a ½ cup of pulses into our diet 3 times a week. Pulses (beans, lentils chickpeas and split peas) are nutritional powerhouses – high in lean, clean plant protein, with no cholesterol – they keep us feeling energized and satisfied all day long. Need more ideas? Sign up for the Half-Cup Habit !
It starts with browning the onions.
The best way cook biryani is to cover the simmering rice with a thin kitchen towel, folding the edges up over the lid. This helps create a good seal and allowing the rice to cook more evenly.
When it’s done, the rice with be perfectly cooked and fluffy.
Sprinkle with toasted cashews, raisins and cilantro. Serve with a side of cilantro mint chutney! .
If you are looking for a more traditional Indian style biryani recipe, make sure to try this Chicken Biryani recipe -it’s really delicious! It’s perfect for a Sunday when you a have time to be in the kitchen for a couple of hours.
Hope you enjoy!Print
Quick Chickpea Biryani
Biryani is a fragrant and flavorful rice dish hailing from India and varies greatly from region to region. This version is vegan and features chickpeas as the protein, minimizing the cooking time significantly. As it simmers on the stove, delicious aromas waft through the house. Serve it with Cilantro Mint Chutney or Cilantro Yogurt.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6
- Category: vegan main
- Cuisine: Indian
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or one cinnamon stick)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (or 3 crushed cardamom pods)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups veggie stock
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup cashews
Serve with Cilantro Mint Chutney or
Cilantro Coconut Yogurt Sauce
- 1 cup yogurt (full fat)
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1–2 jalapenos
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 inch ginger, sliced thin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium or large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring often, until tender and golden, 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium, add garlic and ginger, and cook 2 minutes.
Add spices and bay leaf, and stir one minute, toasting the spices. Add stock, rice, and salt. Give a stir. Top with chickpeas, raisins, and cashews. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then lower heat to low. Cover the pot with a thin dish towel, place the lid over the top of the towel, and bring the four corners of the towel up and over the lid. This will tighten the seal and keep the steam in, allowing the rice to cook more quickly and evenly.
Simmer on low 18–20 minutes or until the rice has soaked up the liquid.
Uncover the Quick Chickpea Biryani and fluff up with a fork. Serve with cilantro sprigs and a spoonful or two of Cilantro Yogurt Sauce.
You are welcome to add other veggies to the biryani- here I’ve added thinly sliced sweet peppers. If you want to add chicken to this, make sure to season it well and brown it first before adding to the rice mixture to simmer.